Relatives of tragic baby hope their charity will prevent other infants suffering same ordeal

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Wear Valley)

RELATIVES of a baby who died from injuries sustained by being shaken are hoping their charity will prevent other infants from suffering a similar fate.

After five-month-old Charlee Cameron Clark, from Gainford, in County Durham, died from serious head injuries in March 2011, his devastated loved ones set-up the Charlee’s Angels Foundation in his memory.

The boy’s father was convicted of his manslaughter last year.

The Charlee’s Angels charity aims to raise awareness of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) in order to prevent it from happening to others and offer support to families affected by the issue.

Its website also offers tips on how to calm a crying baby and where to seek help for anyone who feels like they are struggling to cope.

Charlee’s aunt, Jessica Stephenson, decided to set-up the charity after realising there was no similar resource available online.

She said: “We will never get over what happened, but you have to carry on.

“After going through all that upset, I started thinking ‘we need to do something’.

“I started looking on the Internet but there was nothing like it out there.

“The main aim is to raise awareness of Shaken Baby Syndrome and to prevent it from happening again.

“We also want to support other families who have been affected by it.”

Family friend Paula Kitching, from Newton Aycliffe, who has been helping to develop the charity, said: “It is an issue you don’t know about until something tragic happens.

“I think the charity is a really good thing.

“There is a lot of support out there and people should not be afraid to ask for help.”

After an initial slow start, the charity started to gain momentum last year and Miss Stephenson and Charlee’s mother, Natalie Holmes, began selling handmade bracelets to generate money to put back into developing the initiative.

They also started selling wristbands at the start of the year.

Miss Stephenson, from Staindrop, thanked the Birtley-based MOFO Graphic Design for designing the charity’s logo, which was unveiled recently.

She said: “I have a close friend who is a partner in the company and she knows what I, and the rest of the family, have been through, so they were really helpful.

“The logo had to be right.”

Several people, including Miss Stephenson and Mrs Kitching, will complete the Great North Run in September, in aid of the Charlee’s Angels Foundation.

Any GNR participants who would also like to run on its’ behalf should contact Miss Stephenson via the charity’s website.

Visit charleesangelsfoundation.webs.com or search for Charlee’s Angels SBS (ITUI) Foundation on Facebook.

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